Fresh details have emerged into the life of Samuel Mugoh Muvota, the man who was shot dead in broad daylight on Mirema Drive in Nairobi’s Roysambu neighbourhood on Monday afternoon.
Though it remains unclear why the man was murdered in cold blood, new findings by the Directorate of Criminal Investigation’s (DCI) Corporate Communications and Public Affairs Unit have shed light into Muvota’s alleged line of work, which could possibly have led him to his early grave
According to DCI, Muvota had been arrested on more than 30 occasions in the past 11 years on fraud-related charges.
By the time of his death, the DCI stated, Muvota was purportedly the brains behind an ATM and SIM swapping syndicate operating within Nairobi and its environs, which was minting millions from unsuspecting Kenyans.
Muvota is said to have swindled oblivious Kenyans by scouting and recruiting over 50 women to spike the drinks of unsuspecting revellers frequenting various high-end entertainment joints across the city.
After drugging the victims with a drug known only as ‘Tamuu’, the ladies would steal all their belongings, including ATM cards, which would later be used by Muvota to illegally obtain money from their mobile money and bank accounts.
So lucrative was the syndicate that Muvota reportedly obtained several multi-million shilling properties across Nairobi and a fleet of high-end vehicles since 2011 when he ventured into the business.
Muvota, the DCI says, also married seven women during the period; all of them claimed not to have been aware of his activities, upon questioning by detectives.
“Muvota began his trade in 2011 by hanging around city ATM’s and offering to assist customers who had difficulties withdrawing money from their accounts. Working with crooked banking officials who would jam the teller machines once a client inserted his ATM card, Muvota would approach the client offering to assist,” the DCI said in a statement.
“He would insert the clients’ card then pretend to be facing away and ask the client to key in his password and first confirm the balance before withdrawing the amount they wished. However, since the machines eject the ATM card first, he would get hold of the card as the unsuspecting client waited for the cash.”
Muvota would then expertly swap the ATM cards for fake ones before handing them back to his targets He would then casually move around different ATM points across the city to empty the cash held in the said accounts.
Detectives say he particularly had a preference for Co-operative bank ATMs where he would patiently lay in wait for his next score.
“He would strike past 5 in the evening when he was sure that account holders would not walk back to their banks to inquire what was happening to their accounts, since messages of withdrawals they had not made would keep streaming into their phones,” said the DCI.
“The hotlines operated by banks wouldn’t be of any help to the helpless clients, as alerts of unsanctioned transactions kept coming all night. By the time the victims visited their banks to make inquiries into the fraudulent transactions, they would be met with apologies from equally hapless tellers.”
In 2018, Muvote reportedly caused the death of a woman in Kayole after he emptied her life savings from her account via Pesalink using his usual trick.
Muvote is said to have wired Ksh.700,000 from the lady’s account to one of his own, leaving only Ksh.700 behind. After realizing that she had been duped, the woman purportedly collapsed and died.
The DCI says that Muvote was well-known by cyber security specialists following the number of times he was linked to breaches in victims’ accounts.
He allegedly also had links to a number of police officers, who occasionally tipped him off whenever he was being pursued by law enforcement agencies so that he could evade arrest.
“After 11 years in the highly dangerous trade that has in recent days targeted patrons looking for entertainment in high-end establishments including top public servants, businessmen, politicians and men of the cloth, Muvota seemed to have made more enemies than friends. Detectives suspect that one of the women he had employed or an accomplice must have given him in to criminals after a deal gone sour,” said DCI.
Muvote was shot several times by an unknown gunman on Monday just moments after dropping off a woman around Mirema Springs.
Items recovered from the murdered man include money in different currencies, seven different national identity cards, six wallets, phones and laptops believed to have been stolen.
The bullet-riddled car was towed to the Kasarani Police Station. Detectives revealed that the vehicle is registered to a different person who is helping with investigations.
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